Given an opportunity to throw a bone to the fans who adored him for 15 years until being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last summer, Paul Pierce decided to go ahead and take it.
“Yeah, why not? Maybe play for them, maybe work for them,” Pierce responded when asked about the possibility of returning to the Boston Celtics someday following Brooklyn’s 91-84 loss to his former team on Friday night.
But as romanticized of a notion it would be to see the future Hall of Famer and all-time Celtic great return to the organization he helped lead to an NBA title back in 2008, the Boston faithful shouldn’t get their hopes up anytime soon.
Although Pierce is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, there is plenty of reason to believe that he will re-sign with Brooklyn. The complementary role he plays with the Nets alongside Joe Johnson and Deron Williams is an ideal situation for Pierce given that he’s now 36 years old. The Nets are just as content with Pierce’s production, as he’s averaged a respectable 13.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in this diminished responsibility.
There’s also no question that in this late stage of his career, Pierce only has one goal, and that is to add another championship to his stellar resume. At 30-30, the Nets don’t appear to be serious contenders for this year’s title, but possessing a healthy Brook Lopez next season should give them the firepower necessary to compete with the likes of the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers for the Eastern Conference crown. Seeing how much the Nets have been able to turn around their season since the start of the 2014 calendar year with their defense under first year coach Jason Kidd, the decision to remain in Brooklyn doesn’t sound as though it would incredibly difficult for Pierce.
Meanwhile, the Celtics’ situation, with the exception of also having a rookie coach in Brad Stevens, is the polar opposite. Many agree that Stevens has done a commendable job with the pieces he’s been given, but the bottom line still remains that Boston has just begun a massive rebuilding project that will take quite some time to complete. A current record of 21-41 speaks for itself.
So Pierce would desire to return to the Celtics in the near future and be a part of that because…? Right, no answer, because he wouldn’t.
Of course, he could come back someday, but within the next year or so? Sorry, Boston, you’re going to have to be a little more patient than that.